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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque454
Huh, you're right. I never knew that old of an HEI to use such a wide gap. Ive seen some late 80s 4 cylinders to use a .060 gap but never a V8.

My 78 454 takes .035 gap, but thats a big block and if I remember right you are working on a 350. Oreillys does show a .035 on a 77 K10 350 but on heavy duty non cali emissions (which is all I'm used to). Light duty uses .045 for non cali emissions. And of course .060 for the cali engines.

I still question that kind of a gap in that engine, its awfully wide. Maybe its the type of plugs you are using. What brand are they?
I'm using Autolites. I installed 'em last September so they are fairly new with less than 150 miles on them. I'm thinking I should try the 0.045" gap? Not much to lose and something to learn.

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  #62 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:46 PM
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Have you tried different plugs? Ive never had experience with auto lite plugs but i have had bad plugs before and some plugs just dont seem to work right in some engines. Ive never used anything but AC Delcos in my Chevy V8s, EXCEPT once I used Bosch platinums and it didn't run right at all with those in it. Plugs can make a big difference.

I would try different gaps tho. .045 and then .035 if things improve some with .045.
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque454
Have you tried different plugs? Ive never had experience with auto lite plugs but i have had bad plugs before and some plugs just dont seem to work right in some engines. Ive never used anything but AC Delcos in my Chevy V8s, EXCEPT once I used Bosch platinums and it didn't run right at all with those in it. Plugs can make a big difference.

I would try different gaps tho. .045 and then .035 if things improve some with .045.
Im kind of iffy on the plugs myself. I had good experience with them in a small car, but I'm beginning to think I should've gone for Delcos for the truck (it is a 350). I think these plugs actually have a certain time for warranty. Im gonna check up on that, and if I can exchange 'em for the Delcos, the great. Otherwise I just buy a fresh set. Ever try Delco platinums in your 454?

I'll definitely try the gaps.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lt1silverhawk
Im kind of iffy on the plugs myself. I had good experience with them in a small car, but I'm beginning to think I should've gone for Delcos for the truck (it is a 350). I think these plugs actually have a certain time for warranty. Im gonna check up on that, and if I can exchange 'em for the Delcos, the great. Otherwise I just buy a fresh set. Ever try Delco platinums in your 454?

I'll definitely try the gaps.
No, never tried anything but the regular Delcos and the Bosch Platinums. I'll be watching this thread to see what happens. Cant wait to see if the gaps and or plugs fix this problem or not.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2011, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque454
No, never tried anything but the regular Delcos and the Bosch Platinums. I'll be watching this thread to see what happens. Cant wait to see if the gaps and or plugs fix this problem or not.
Cool, will keep you posted. Thanks for the help!
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2011, 10:33 AM
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I got to take off only one plug this morning before going to work. The gap is 0.060". There was a bit of oil on the threads tha t can be seen on the shop towel. Also, the boot on the wire seems to be a bit burned.

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  #67 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2011, 01:16 PM
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The updates on this thread are really spaced out so here is a recap:

- 1977 Chevy C/K series with a stock crate 350, Edlebrock intake and a Q-Jet carb.

- Last tune up (Autolite platinum plugs, Duralast wire set, cap, rotor, and ignition) was done in September 2010; driven less than a 100 miles since then.

- Late December of 2010, the truck has difficulty staying on after it is started.

- Water and debris is found in the gas. Fuel cap for the driver-side tank is found loose. Local punks are cussed at.

- Among other things, forum members suggest checking timing, didn't do it.

- Fuel cap for the driver-side tank immediately replaced. Old gas siphoned out (for the most part). Two aluminum in-line fuel filters replaced. Glass-cased fuel filter right before carburetor cleaned out. More gas put in the contaminated tank, along with Stabil. Truck run off of passenger-side tank.

- Truck starts, stays on, but shortly turns off due to flooding. Truck starts again after waiting thirty minutes, sticking a screwdriver down the choke plate and removing the new fuel cap (venting may be an issue).

- Eventually, it is concluded that the carburetor is need of cleaning and/or rebuild.

- Carburetor rebuilt, installed and tested one week ago. During the process, truck is found to have birth certificate issues (no data plate).

- Truck still seems to have a miss and backfires when revved.

- Pulled off all the spark plugs and wires today. The boots on three of the wires on the passenger side are burned because there is no heat shield between them and the exhaust manifold. No damage on the driver's side. With the exception of one, all spark plugs are gapped to 0.060" for California emissions (one was at about 0.055"). Plugs have oil on threads and tips.

- Wires will be replaced. Keeping the spark plugs for now with the same gap. Considering changing the fuel filters one more time.

Any ideas on how to work without the heat shield?



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  #68 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2011, 03:26 PM
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Change the wires and your miss will most likely be gone.

Just get some wire seperators and install one of the two gang ones on the wires right in the middle of the exhaust manifold.
Have never had a wire melt when I've done this using the same manifolds you have.

BTW, are those NGK wires?
I had a problem years ago with them falling apart like that and haven't used them since.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2011, 03:30 PM
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Hey 123pugsy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy
Change the wires and your miss will most likely be gone.

Just get some wire seperators and install one of the two gang ones on the wires right in the middle of the exhaust manifold.
Have never had a wire melt when I've done this using the same manifolds you have.
I agree. Wire routing definitely appears to be a problem. I've got one separators for once side but will pick up another. Thanks!




I went ahead and swapped the damaged wires for new ones under warranty.

I was concerned about the oil I found on the spark plugs and decided to check the valve covers to see if the gaskets were bad. I found that most of the bolts were loose and there was oil around the edges. I went ahead removed them and will go buy a new set of gaskets. Everything else look ok?

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  #70 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2011, 03:30 PM
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Here's a pic.
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  #71 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2011, 03:33 PM
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Everything looks fine as far as I can tell.
Not too dirty.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2011, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy
Here's a pic.
I see, you got them coming from the back of the engine. I had mine over the valve covers dangling down. Glad you shared that 'cause I probably would've done the same thing again.




Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy
Everything looks fine as far as I can tell.
Not too dirty.
Thanks! I feel more comfortable throwing everything back together.
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old 04-02-2011, 06:47 PM
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While removing the valve covers, I found a fourth fuel filter right before the fuel pump. It was so neatly tucked away that I just never noticed it. Quite dirty too. When I tried removing one of the clamps, it came apart in my hands. Makes me wonder how old all this is. Im thinking of ditching this one and just sticking with the other three (two aluminum ones right after the passenger-side tank and one glass-cased one right before the carburetor). For the sake of information on these glass-cased filters, there is discussion going on the forum here.






I sprayed some gasket remover on the valve covers, let it soak in and everything came off rather easily. If you value the paint job on the covers, be sure you're reaching for the engine degreaser and not the carburetor cleaner to get rid of the grime. Lesson learned.

Now, its just a matter of putting it all together.
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 04:13 PM
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I put everything back together Sunday evening: valve covers with new gaskets, properly gapped spark plugs, new wires and wire separators. I put some RTV on the valve covers to keep the gasket in place. Unfortunately, it just wouldn't. As straight-forward as valve covers seem, it was rather time consuming to install, mainly because the holes just would not line up. Several times I had to sure a very small flat screwdriver to line them up. I unfortunately lost one of the bolts that goes nearest to the distributor and the firewall on the driver-side. I tightened up the rest but didn't "go to town". Not finding the right size rubber hose to place before the fuel pump, I went ahead and temporarily reinstalled the 4th fuel filter before the fuel pump again, but in a more visible area by the radiator.

.




So after everything was put back in place (except for the missing valve cover bolt), I went ahead and started up the truck. You can click here for the 7:04 video (wo videos combine into one). By the way, the music in the background is a live band courtesy of the neighbors. If you like it, well you've got a bonus soundtrack to listen to.

In Case You can't See the Video:
The truck has to be cranked a few times before it starts and revved once it catches. But once it does, it idles very strong (strongest since I've owned it) and at roughly 1500 rpm (much higher than the usual 1000 rpm). At 3:23 you can hear the rpm dropping. I had forgotten to plug the hose from the carburetor the brake booster back in place so I went ahead and did that. From that point forward, you can here a bit of a "bop bop" in the exhaust as well as the engine some what pulsating. At 3:58, I start revving the engine to see if there is any hesitation or backfiring. Upon seeing some light smoke from the passenger-side of the engine, I turn off the truck at 4:19. At 4:20 and 4:23,you can clearly a loud backfire from the exhaust. As the video progresses, you can see black smoke rising from both sides by the firewall.




The smoke was oil spilling out and burning. I had left the oil filler cap unscrewed but in place. I check the oil level and there was nothing. I checked again the following morning and again, aside from what it picked up off the tube, there was no oil on the dip stick. I went ahead and poured two quarts of oil but I saw it dripping. It was leaking from the driver-side valve cover. I assumed that the gasket had not set properly and was allowing the oil to leak out. I removed the valve cover and found one side to be out of place.

Is it the RTV that may be causing the oil leak or is it because I didn't put in the last bolt into the valve cover? Is there any possibility of damage to the motor because of all this?

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  #75 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2011, 05:56 PM
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Get the cover bolted on right and then its time to get yourself a timing light.
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